| | | | | |

IEW’s Primary Arts of Language~ Review

This post may contain affiliate links.

I recently received the IEW Primary Arts of Language (PAL) program to review.  PAL is created by the Institute for Excellence in Writing (IEW). This program is geared toward learners in grades K-2~ or those just beginning to learn reading.   There are two parts of the program- the Primary Arts of Reading and the Primary Arts of Writing portion.  The two parts can be used separately, but are meant to be used as a whole.  PAL uses a combination of phonics and whole word approach. There is SO much that comes with this program, so bear with me as I try to do it justice!  Let me begin by telling you that this program has saved our homeschool. I have only used it for a short time, but I can hardly imagine living without it.
IEW Primary arts of language- beginning reading program
 primary arts of language: reading
I’ll start with the reading portion of the program.   The Primary Arts of Reading program is $69 for the complete package.  The reading program comes with a teacher’s manual, the DVD, the Phonetic Farm folder, and a book full of phonics/reading games ready to be made into file folder games. To begin, you just pop in a DVD and it explains everything you need to do to begin. The DVD also has all of the PDF files of the workbooks for your kids and several mp3 audio files with great teaching tips.  I like that they gave us the workbooks in PDF format~ it makes it all re-usable for later kids (and we will be re-using it for sure).  I printed out the student workbook and put it all in a big notebook.  They also sell hard copies of the student books if you would prefer that.
The student pages are full of fun activities with coloring, writing, cutting and gluing~ my daughter’s dream come true!

The file folder games are all in one book ready to be cut out and glued into file folders.  They are not in color (which helps keep the cost of the program down) so you or your kids can color them.  Each lesson adds in a fun new game to go along with the skills or letters the child learns.  These games are a huge part of what makes this so much fun.  The learning that takes place is hands-on and fun.

The game pictured above is a way to review the words we learn.  You write the words on note cards and feed them to the monster.  This is a favorite in our home!

The Phonetic Farm is one thing you would have to replace for later children.  It unfolds into a farm and stickers of the different phonics sounds taught.  Each time we learn a new sound, we get to put on the sticker.  It is such a fun thing to do~ my daughter loves it!  It is also a great way to go back and review the sounds we have already learned.

The next part is the Primary Arts of Writing which is $89 for the complete package.  Included with this portion is the teacher’s manual, another instructional DVD with PDF files included, and All About Spelling Level 1.  We have not even gotten to the All About Spelling part of it.  We have been slowly working through learning to write the letters properly. But I have heard rave reviews about it and cannot wait to get to this part.  (Update… We LOVE it!!)
all about spelling
I love the combination of these two programs.  The writing portion begins with teaching letters and correct formation of the letters.  Each letter has a fun little story to go along with it with a picture incorporated into the letter.  This helps them remember the right sounds of the letters as well as their names.  The reading portion teaches the phonics and sight words.  It incorporates the fun learning aspect of it with creative activities to help kids remember all they are learning.  The lessons in the teacher manual outline it all so easily.  We have been doing about half of a lesson each day.  This pace seems to work quite well for us.  We practice the skills learned from the previous day & begin part of the next lesson.
A Typical Daily Lesson:
  • Poetry:  Learn a poem together~ practice learning the words & sounds from the poem they provide
  • Journal and Story Time: We keep a daily journal of things we are learning & doing in our school day.  I write this but she likes to tell me what to write. We read a story- we’ve been doing Aesop’s Fables- and discuss the parts of the story (character, summary, plot, climax, etc.)
  • Practice Time: This is when we work on the file games, writing practice, Phonetic Farm, and the letters and words we have been learning.
  • Work Time: We work on the workbook pages

All of this is done together and takes 45 minutes to an hour to go through the lesson.

I have to say that I was slightly frustrated with our reading progress with my 5-year-old daughter.  She was, too.  When we opened this up and starting working on it, she lit up and was suddenly so excited to work through these lessons.  She gets up in the morning and runs to start it- sometimes before breakfast (like this morning).  It has been such an incredible blessing to our family to be able to use.  I have loved watching her progress, too.  This week, she opened up a board book (Brown Bear) and read the whole thing.  It was completely thrilling to her~ and to me!  The cost of the program may seem a little high, but I HIGHLY recommend IEW’s Primary Arts of Language.  This will be a staple in our family for years to come.


Disclaimer: As a Schoolhouse Review Member, I received this curriculum for free in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own and I am not compensated in any other way.

Similar Posts


  1. Thank you for you’re review! It’s so hard to find reviews on the reading portion if IEW. A couple questions. How long does it take you to prepare the lessons? Just from looking online, it looks kind of teacher intensive (compared with something like Good and Beautiful, if you’re familiar with that).

    Also, do you recommend starting these two programs at the same time? I have a daughter who is just starting to sound out really short words and is excited about it, but I don’t think she’s ready for actual writing. I did order the alphabet/ writing type book so she can practice writing individual letters, but I think I’d wait on writing. But I don’t know. I’d love your thoughts. Thanks!

Leave a Reply